How to be sale savvy

Posted by Jacqui Cooper On 29th Feb 2020

I think you all know by now that I like to use an intentional word in different aspects of my life to keep me focused on a desired outcome. So I thought I would apply this to the subject of sale shopping and up springs the word – savvy. You see, I too could get caught up in the shopping frenzy if I gave in to my impulsive nature!

The truth is so far the only sale items I have bought are some emerald cashmere hand warmers and a matching scarf.

Bargain yes, on the list yes – it’s a win-win.

I do have my eye on a few other items online that I would buy if they were full price but I’m playing the waiting game. Because we’ve all been there haven’t we, bought clothes only to find they have gone into sale shortly after? Too late to return them though, because I get excited about new clothes I want to wear them as soon as I can. I’m sooooo not a saver of clothes for ‘best’. I think that’s definitely a generational thing and it’s often a common belief by many of my clients who book wardrobe optimizations, style consultations or full image consultations.

Sunday best

In years past, wearing our ‘Sunday best’ meant wearing our ‘best’ (finest/most expensive) clothes to go to church on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, the outcome of that belief these days means many clothes unworn waiting for ‘best’. This often results in clothes not fitting anymore due to weight gain/loss, personal style evolution and the F word – fashion.

Getting better mileage from your clothes or Cost Per Wear as we now refer to it means how many times you would expect to wear it divided by the price you paid for it. It’s a good indicator if the initial price tag seems a little steep. If you are considering a new pricey purchase, even at a reduced price point, ask yourself when and with what you will wear it – does that justify it?

Time for a downgrade?

Another thing to consider is some of your key items from past seasons that could be downgraded next season in a different context. So perhaps that fabulous tailored jacket you bought to dress up with jeans last season might be appropriate to wear for work now?

Rather than stereotypically thinking just about the occasion to wear something consider how you want to feel instead. If you want to feel feminine, colourful and creative when you are next doing your weekly shop in the supermarket which item of clothing will help support that? If you read last month’s blog about Gemma she decided to fit out rather than trying to fit in!

To coin a phrase – if you want to dress up like a dog’s dinner what’s stopping you???

In my experience at this time of year, sale or not, I don’t want to be buying too many winter items. I so look forward to spring that I’d rather keep my pennies for the bright and fresh hues that spring collections never fail to deliver.

Given all the above, I thought perhaps you might find it useful if I shared a few tips I suggest to my clients when heading for the shops, here you go and I hope you find it helpful:

Sale shopping – top tips

Do your research

Before hitting the shops, take a look in your wardrobe and make a list of items you actually need, rather than going sale shopping with a scattergun approach. A list will make you more focused and aware if you’re straying towards buying something you’ll never wear.

Check the condition

What’s the point in buying a sale item if you then have to spend money stitching fabric or replacing zips? Unless it’s a designer item that’s been heavily reduced, the cost of repair is rarely worth it.

Avoid styles, colours and prints that aren’t ‘you’

Sometimes we are attracted to clothes for reasons we can’t seem to explain. You never wear chiffon, but this chiffon blouse is calling to you. And it is discounted. That’s not to say you can’t experiment and step out of your comfort zone now and again but ask yourself “Is it really me?”. If you don’t feel ‘you’ in it, you’ll never wear it.

The same goes for colour and print – if you look dreadful in bright red or leopard print, don’t buy it just because it’s cheap!

All that glitters isn’t gold

It’s great to invest in some discounted party dresses, but make sure you genuinely like the style by trying it on in store if possible. Don’t just get seduced by the sparkles!

The Winter sale pieces you can’t afford to miss (if they are on your list!)

The statement coat

Red military coat
Image courtesy of Colour Me Beautiful

Always a good investment, timeless coats can be worn again and again. The key in that sentence is the word ‘timeless’ – and choose a colour that will work with the majority of your wardrobe.

Knowing your style profile will determine what would be a timeless piece for you. Is it a statement classic coat and bright colour or a high-quality but practical one?


No one really likes buying work clothes, do they? All the better then if you can get them at a discount. Make sure that they’re still suitable for your workplace, though, and that the style suits you.


With the UK climate, our winters seem to last forever so our boots get plenty of wear! Casual and smart pairs aren’t cheap, however, so take advantage of sale reductions and bag yourself a pair.

Evening shoes

Struggle to find the right shoes at a reasonable price during the party season? January is the perfect time to invest in a pair that you love at a bargain price.


“You can never have enough handbags!” (is what Mr C will quote me saying), right? Picking up a bargain one in the sales is always worth it and have some fun with colourful bags in different shades that can add that extra ‘pop’ of colour to an outfit.

Want to make every day your best?

If you’re still unsure what colours and styles work for you, why not contact me to book a one-to-one consultation and see how you can look and feel great for 2019. And let’s make every day our ‘best’ and not solely due to sartorial choices!

About Jacqui

Hello, I'm Jacqui Cooper, The Style Counsellor, and I'm passionate about helping people look and feel good by living and dressing authentically.

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